Lewisham Homes and Make Mee Studio brought together local young people and older residents at our Crofton Park Independent Living scheme earlier this month to talk about our throwaway clothes culture – and what we could do to solve it.
The ‘Wear It Out’ project consisted of workshops and focus groups where Independent Living residents and Year Four students from Beecroft School got together to decide what we could do as individuals to reduce waste, as well as the role that the fashion industry has to play.
Some remarkable statistics came up. Did you know it takes 250,000 litres of water to make a single t-shirt? This overuse of water has meant that lakes in some parts of the world have dried up entirely.
So what can we do to reduce our environmental impact and live more sustainable lives? Our multi-generational focus groups had many useful suggestions, such as buying fewer clothes and only using what you really need. Disposing of clothes properly so they can be recycled was also discussed. As part of the project, the children and residents are recycling clothes they no longer use into new items they can wear in a different way.
The project is funded as part of Lewisham’s Festival of Creative Ageing, which is running from 13 September to 6 November across the borough. It is co-ordinated by the Albany, Deptford’s neighbourhood arts centre. Lewisham Homes’s offices will host an exhibition of the work from ‘Wear It Out’ on 21 September.